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Co-parenting with Munchausen by Proxy

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Co-parenting with Munchausen by Proxy

Postby IkesterA » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:28 pm

Hello, I’m brand new to this forum. I have spent some time reading the stories on here and my heart goes out to the people who are directly and indirectly suffering from mental health disorders.

I am a father of 4 children, J-Girl-7, S-Boy-6, A-Boy-3 and N-Girl-1. I have very solid reasons to believe my children are victims of Munchausen by Proxy from their mother. Mother and I are no longer together and we currently have joint legal and physical custody. I’m looking for help and guidance on what to do given my unique situation.

I’d like to begin with some un-disputable facts which I can prove with documentation:

  • The list of doctors/providers/psychologists involved in the treatment of the children exceeds 20.
  • Mom was previously employed at an eye doctor’s office doing the medical insurance billing.
  • A-Boy-3 has a surgical g-tube which was placed after his 2nd birthday for failure to thrive. Mom played a heavy role in the decision process to have it placed.
  • S-Boy-6 was sectioned for his behavior while in Mom’s custody in May of 2018. His behavior was a temper tantrum over a video game. He was 5 at the time and Mom alleged physical abuse (S-Boy-6 against Mom). He spent 54 hours in the ER awaiting a bed in a pediatric psych unit. He was discharged into my custody instead of being committed because his behavior was normal and regulated during the whole ER stay.
  • Mom has sent many emails to S-Boy-6’s psychiatrists over the last few years, strongly suggesting (begging) to medicate him for bipolar as early as when he was 4.
  • J-Girl-7, S-Boy-6 and A-Boy-3 are all diagnosed with and treated for asthma.
  • Mom is diagnosed Bipolar (2), Anxiety disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Anorexia Nervosa with binge/purge behavior.
  • Mom successfully got herself diagnosed with ADD and was prescribed Ritalin while breastfeeding N-Girl-1 (who was 6 months.) Her eating disorder psychologist and her psychiatrist at the time disagreed with the diagnosis and noted it was likely used as an appetite suppressant to support an eating disorder.
  • Last year Mom was psychiatrically sectioned for behaviors consistent with Munchausen by Proxy, namely putting her breast milk in A-Boy-3’s feeding tube against the doctor’s order, tampering with the doctor’s order with A-Boy-3’s feeding plan, attempting to isolate N-Girl-1’s food intolerance by restricting her own diet to 3 foods, chicken, chips and soda for 5 weeks while insisting on breast feeding even though doctors were strongly suggesting moving to formula.
  • Mom was discharged from the psych unit with an order that I was to be temporary primary custodian and Mom was not to be left alone with any of the children. A week before discharge I told Mom my intent to get full legal custody of the children (after learning from the doctors the nature of the allegations) and I asked her to leave the home shortly after she be discharged.
  • 3 days after discharge, Mom successfully filed a restraining order against me alleging domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. This order had the children named. I was not to be within 100 yards of the children until I filed in probate to get joint custody of the children, which took 4 weeks.
  • During the 4 week period Mom had full custody, she fired the feeding team who was working on A-Boy-3’s feeding plan and hired a new one at a different hospital.
  • Mom also fired her own team of psychiatrist/psychologist as they are the ones who sectioned her.
  • We appointed a GAL (Guardian Ad Litem) through probate court who did a full investigation for the family. The report was completed recently. Munchausen by Proxy and (untreated) Borderline Personality Disorder are both strongly suggested by the GAL, although the GAL is not necessarily qualified to diagnose either. The GAL’s recommendation is the children should be with me full time and I should have legal custody and Mom should have visitation.

Over the last year I have done research on Munchausen by Proxy which also line up with other behaviors more difficult to prove such as:
  • Mom’s dependency and addiction to hospitals
  • Claiming to know more than the doctors
  • Tampering with medication orders (both for herself and the children)
  • The abundance of online research
  • The obsession with medical equipment at home (thermometers, stethoscopes, finger oximeters, guaic cards.)

Also, I am not an abuser. Mom was able to spin 2 incidents to the judge where Mom was the actual physical/verbal aggressor into stories where I was an abuser. This awarded her the restraining order.

Now I’m in a position where I am not allowed to talk to Mom and have not been for a year. We are allowed to attend doctors appointments together for the children and we are allowed to communicate regarding the children via text message. Although the GAL report is out, and we have both read it, we do not have our trial until the end of August and the courts are very reluctant to make any custody changes until the trial.

In the meantime I have been attending every medical appointment for all of the children and there continues to be a lot of them, often ER visit or pediatrician sick visit made the same day. Mom has a special ability to get prescriptions for the children (including steroids) over the phone claiming such-and-such a doctor heard the cough over the phone and called in the prescription. When we’re at the doctor’s offices, there’s an ongoing theme of Mom calling out certain behaviors or physical ailments, and me saying “it doesn’t happen when they’re with me.” The doctors most often respond to Mom’s claims, either adding another prescription, changing a prescription or ordering a test. I have tried to explain to doctors what I think and know is going on regarding Munchausen by Proxy and I have mixed success, often confronted with disbelieve that a mother would do such a thing. Also, since there is a restraining order against me, I am often written off as retaliatory.

I have not been very successful in finding literature regarding how to deal with or how to co-parent with someone who is an alleged Munchausen by Proxy perpetrator. A while ago I’ve come to the understanding of how sensitive the issue is. Mom is aware that I believe Munchausen by Proxy and I can tell it has affected her behavior, I believe to be even more deceitful and keeping more secrets from me, asking the doctors not to tell me things. I do believe I am doing everything I can on the legal front, I have a good attorney for the custody case, but I do not have enough faith in the system and I feel I need to plan a future where we will continue to share in legal custody, even though that's not my desired outcome.

Does anyone have any advice or experience dealing with co-parenting with such a parent?

There are more appointments coming up next week regarding the children as well as routine physicals for the children in the next 3 weeks. At most visits so far, I’ve been surprised with something Mom is saying about new behaviors or symptoms.
IkesterA
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Re: Co-parenting with Munchausen by Proxy

Postby Terry E. » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:01 am

Hi, this may disappoint but may also direct your energies better, but I would not say she is MBP. The big tells in MBP are:-
Narcissism
The children are made really ill, sometimes fatal
I do not get enough facts on all I see, but there may be a very strong correlation for a wish for attention from some specific

and this one is hard to pin down but it has come up every time I get deep into them and that is a "martyr issue" - these women are single handedly battling against extraordinary odds to save their child. When I have talked to such survivors the term " glowing" is used to describe how the mother looks and acts during these crisis.

The biggest one of the lots is Narcissim. this can be accompanied by Bi-Polar (mine was) but BPD has tinges of anxiety self doubt and paranoia. Most MBPs are so confident they can beat the system, that anxiety and paranoia don't have room to share.

Look this stuff evolves, just like society. The term helicopter mum was unheard of a few years ago now such people are very common.

Likewise MBP will evolve.

Going back to the poisoning thing, she maybe doing some very questionable things nutritionally but I am sure if you google long enough there will be things that support what she has tried.

Munchers poison there kids. They use alcohol in high doses, faeces , or other things that will infect even radioactive medical material when it is available. None of that stuff could ever be argued as having any benefit.

Another issues is here looking for help with her mental health. After I grew up my mother was taken to a mental hospital in a straight jacket and put in a padded cell, but she thought she was not only sane, but the smartest person in the room as well. A muncher would never question her own mental health -


I am not saying you do not have huge problems and a world of pain ahead of you, and she has many issues but I don't think MBP is one of them.

Just my opinions and I really wish you luck.

Going to be a long hard road.
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Re: Co-parenting with Munchausen by Proxy

Postby IkesterA » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:41 am

Hi Terry,

Thank you for taking the time to read and respond. I do not have a whole lot of time at the moment, but I would like to comment on and ask some questions regarding your points, but there is a lot more to this story, and I don't necessarily know which points are relevant, so I can fill in as need be.

I am open to the possibility this is not MbP. I am not an expert, I am only coming to the conclusions based on red flags raised from multiple providers of the children, her own providers, and I am tying what I read about online with my own experiences and the correlation is too great for me to ignore. This is why I am especially appreciative of your feedback since you are way more experienced.

One of my questions in the case this is not MbP, How would it be different in terms of what I need to do for the children? I still fear a lot more unnecessary treatments for serious conditions which do not exist. I do believe Mom has the capacity to cause very serious harm.

There are more points I'd like to call out for clarification:

I do believe she has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. (I'll outline why later)

She knows more than the doctors. She is not even afraid to say it.

When we were together there was a constant theme of "Nobody believed me..." and then "I was right, I showed them" in terms of the diagnoses of children and (for herself)

She "glowed" when my 2 year old (now 3) how to go inpatient for observation because he wasn't gaining weight, and then 2 weeks later to get the feeding tube placed. She controlled the whole process. The doctors and nurses "didn't know what they were doing."

She does not agree with her own mental health diagnoses, except for when it would benefit her (getting help from the state, getting disability benefits.) "I don't have an eating disorder any more." and "I have such-and-such as a diagnosis, but I'm getting help (so the diagnosis is moot)."

When she was forced to the mental hospital last year, she thought she did nothing wrong, and I would agree with statement "she thought she was the smartest person in the room"

In terms of the other mental health diagnoses of Mom, it's possible she's in it for the drugs. I don't know the validity of the actual disorders. She collects different medications, claims her current ones aren't working and constantly tries to get her own psychiatrists to prescribe more drugs of her own choosing by describing the symptoms. We often used the same computer. I saw the details of certain drugs up in the web browser after she used. The next day, that drug was prescribed.

In terms of poising, I have only witnessed the administration of breast milk which contained appetite suppressant (Ritalin) into the child's feeding tube for a child diagnosed with failure to thrive. I confronted Mom on this head-on and it was one of the worst rage states I have ever seen her in.

Because of our separation, compounded with the restraining order, I and not privy to what happens in the home anymore.

When we go to appointments together now, I do see a theme of changing medication for the children because "this one is not working" or "there is a potential side effect." so the medications are getting changed.

Although I cannot prove it, I do believe she is poisoning them, I just don't know how. Nowadays, there are ailments which she claims and photo documents and sends to the doctors such as severe rashes, which did not exist when I handed the kid off to her, and then did not exists after I picked them up 5 days later. Somehow in that 5-day span the ailment started and was cleared so I could not witness it. That is a theme, but I just don't know how to confirm "poisoning" vs. "overreacting".
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Re: Co-parenting with Munchausen by Proxy

Postby Terry E. » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:16 pm

Thanks for that, you have put in some specifics that require further thought.

MBP mothers are also often Munchers.

A Muncher and a MBP get a thrill from proving they are the smartest person in the room.

Doctors are held up by society (especially years gone by- now with google not so much today) as the smartest person in the room. If they can fool the doctors - then ergo - THEY are the smartest person in the room. Doctors hate them.

Do you think this is part of what is going on.
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Re: Co-parenting with Munchausen by Proxy

Postby Terry E. » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:01 pm

IkesterA wrote:Hi Terry,


One of my questions in the case this is not MbP, How would it be different in terms of what I need to do for the children? I still fear a lot more unnecessary treatments for serious conditions which do not exist. I do believe Mom has the capacity to cause very serious harm.

I don't think it would be any different. Their health is the issue and she has co-custody. So if your suspicions (supported by facts) are correct it presents a dilemma.


I do believe she has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. (I'll outline why later)
She knows more than the doctors. She is not even afraid to say it.
When we were together there was a constant theme of "Nobody believed me..." and then "I was right, I showed them" in terms of the diagnoses of children and (for herself)

She "glowed" when my 2 year old (now 3) how to go inpatient for observation because he wasn't gaining weight, and then 2 weeks later to get the feeding tube placed. She controlled the whole process. The doctors and nurses "didn't know what they were doing."

Maybe maybe not


She does not agree with her own mental health diagnoses, except for when it would benefit her (getting help from the state, getting disability benefits.) "I don't have an eating disorder any more." and "I have such-and-such as a diagnosis, but I'm getting help (so the diagnosis is moot)."

When she was forced to the mental hospital last year, she thought she did nothing wrong, and I would agree with statement "she thought she was the smartest person in the room"
that one is the biggest worry

In terms of the other mental health diagnoses of Mom, it's possible she's in it for the drugs. I don't know the validity of the actual disorders. She collects different medications, claims her current ones aren't working and constantly tries to get her own psychiatrists to prescribe more drugs of her own choosing by describing the symptoms. We often used the same computer. I saw the details of certain drugs up in the web browser after she used. The next day, that drug was prescribed.

Okay, the difference here is a Muncher knows there is nothing wrong but claims sickness. This sounds more like maybe hypochondria. Munchers fake it themselves and know their children are healthy but poison them.

So you have to ask yourself does she know they are healthy and it is up to her to make them sick.



Because of our separation, compounded with the restraining order, I and not privy to what happens in the home anymore.

When we go to appointments together now, I do see a theme of changing medication for the children because "this one is not working" or "there is a potential side effect." so the medications are getting changed.

she appears to be fascinated by medications and hospitals and doctors - this makes a very worrying person if a mother but not a muncher. Now the risks may very well wind up the same, but the label is different.


Although I cannot prove it, I do believe she is poisoning them, I just don't know how. Nowadays, there are ailments which she claims and photo documents and sends to the doctors such as severe rashes, which did not exist when I handed the kid off to her, and then did not exists after I picked them up 5 days later.

Somehow in that 5-day span the ailment started and was cleared so I could not witness it. That is a theme, but I just don't know how to confirm "poisoning" vs. "overreacting".

[b]and that is the issue at the moment


[/b]


Okay I have wracked my brain her and I have only realy one last insight. MBP mums show little empathy. They don't bond properly with their children. They show signs of being emotionally cold. They don't actually love their children (rush into a burning house risking everything - give their own life - for that child)

And final thought as to why professional people are very careful using the MBP label.
To quote Meadows.
" to lose one child is a tragedy -
to lose two a coincidence -
to lose three is murder"

and that is why people are reluctant to us the term MBP - you are almost calling someone a potential killer.

So when this is done you may get better traction not using the MBP label, as it makes some people step away, so they don't get their ass sued.
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Re: Co-parenting with Munchausen by Proxy

Postby ukan » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:08 pm

*mod edit*
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